29-01-2015 | Brain device may offer hope for toughest epilepsy cases

29 January 2015
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After nine years of seizures with no success stopping them, Sheri Finstad was ready to try an experiment.

In October, Mayo Clinic doctors implanted a device in her brain designed to deliver mild electrical pulses and record the brain's reaction.

This stimulation therapy is used typically to treat Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders. Finstad, became one of two patients to try it for epileptic seizures after U.S. federal regulators granted an exemption.

Since the surgery, she's had dizziness and headaches -- but just one seizure.

This therapy is still in its infancy and will need years of clinical studies and FDA approval for any broader use. But Finstad's case is helping doctors learn more about how the brain reacts to epilepsy.

"We can see exactly what our stimulation does to the ongoing activity in the brain," said neurologist, Dr. Matt Stead. "That will allow us ... hopefully to understand better what patterns and types of stimulation are most likely to suppress their propensity toward seizures." Click here for full article

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